An Urgency in Korea — Campus Violence

An Urgency in Korea — Campus Violence
Print This Article

“I did think about asking my teachers and parents for help, but the people who bully me are so scary and I cannot escape from them,” Quan wrote in her suicide note in December, 2012. She jumped from the dormitory building because she could not bear the bullying anymore. Two months before her death, a high-school girl committed suicide in a Datian high school because of the abuse from her schoolmates.
With a rise in student suicides reported these days, more and more people are paying attention to the reason behind this phenomenon—campus violence. The Korean government introduced many policies to prevent this. However, according to the information provided by Korean education department, the situation is worsening: the number of the victims of campus violence has increased to 38,466 in 2013, from 19,949 in 2011.

President Park Geun-hye promised to eradicate the four evils in the society including the campus violence, and after taking office, the Korean education department released measures aiming to enhance campus security in July. Unfortunately, the first year Park Geun-hye was elected to be president of Korea, informants’ hot-line telephones were busy all the time, and the call numbers rose from 80,127 in 2012 to 101,524 in 2013. And in March 2012, two suicides resulted from campus violence were reported again.

The former chairman of Youth Anti-violence Committee claimed that policies made to improve the campus environment changed with the position of education department leader changes, and there were always “new policies” remaining to be implemented. Besides, the officials responsible for this policy implementation were changing all the time too, so no one knew which policy should be implemented and how to implement it. The Korean education department believed the results from conducting a survey inquiring people’s attitudes towards campus violence, and thought that campus violence had been reduced successfully. They even planned to transfer the budget to other events. But the fact is, the situation is still serious, or we should say, the situation is more serious.

Doctor Lee said that Korean education department should learn from European countries: if the remediation measurements didn’t work out, they should shift their focus to prevention measurements. “Handing out a manual related to preventing campus violence to school teachers may be a proposal needed to be considered”, Lee said, “and we can provide psychotherapies for students to help them go out of the shadow of violence.”